It's a Cultural Disconnect

Carol Platt Liebau
|
Posted: May 28, 2008 11:53 AM
Writing today in the Wall Street Journal, David Boaz makes a telling point: In his praise for "collective service" voiced in a commencement address, Barack neglected to include either private enterprise or the military.

The latter, it goes without saying, is one of the only indispensable forms of public service in a free country.  But so is the former -- among other reasons, it's the engine that produces the tax revenues that allow those engaged in "collective service" to "help" others through redistributing this income.

I'm not a fan of "collective" anything -- especially collectivist economics.  And Boaz is right to criticize John McCain's attacks on Mitt Romney's business background.  But I can understand a politician who sees military service as the apex of public service much better than one who ignores it altogether.

It strikes me as telling -- and disturbing -- that Barack apparently doesn't see the private sector or the military as a "virtuous" career choice on par with the "softer" forms of government service.  Perhaps in academic circles, it isn't.